D2L Tool Tip of the Week: Creating a News Item

This tutorial is designed for faculty who have previous experience using the News tool or the HTML editor in D2L and will cover the steps involved when you wish to publish all student feedback for a Dropbox activity at one time.  For further information, please contact desupport@camosun.ca for assistance.


  1. Go to the Homepage of your course.
  2. News-CreateANewsItem1a-700
  3. News-CreateANewsItem1NEW-700
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Things to remember

Each new News Items will appear at the top of the News widget feed. If you want to reorder your News Items, select Reorder News Items from the News context menu.

Also remember that students can dismiss News Items from their view of the News widget. If you want to make sure that students see your News Item again (if you are worried they have dismissed it), you need to Edit the News Item and select Major edit – send a notification and restore it for those who dismissed it.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) “Slam”

You are Invited to eLearning’s Inaugural “UDL Slam”!

Do you often ask yourself questions like: “Does anyone else at Camosun encounter this same barrier or challenge for students in their classes?” and “What are my fellow instructors trying out in their classes to address these barriers that might work for me too?” Or maybe you have come up with a solution to a barrier and would love to have 5 minutes or less to share your idea with colleagues.  Yes?  This event could be for you!

In the spirit of bringing members of our teaching & learning community together to share creative ideas to address barriers and challenges to student learning, we are excited to invite you to participate in Camosun’s first ever UDL Slam!

Need a little background on what UDL or Slams are before you decide?


At its core, UDL (Universal Design for Learning) is about proactively designing “barrier free” learning opportunities for students. UDL recognizes that we cannot design learning experiences for a singular type of student. UDL is therefore based on three key principles for providing a diverse community of students with Multiple Means of:

    This is the “what” of learning and learners differ in how they perceive & comprehend information given to them.
    This is the “how” of learning and learners differ in how they navigate a learning environment & express what they know.
    This is the “why” of learning and learners differ markedly in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn.


“Slams” have long been popular, competitive events in poetry circles where participants recite original works no longer than three minutes long. The idea has been adopted by tech giant, Google, which regularly hosts Demo Slams at its education workshops to encourage members of the public to present short and user-friendly tutorials about the innovative uses they have come up with for a technology. These ideas might be obvious to you but can be amazing and inspiring to others.

Whether or not they are competitive events, in any Slam event participants are required to present a concept to an audience within a tight and enforced timeframe before giving the floor to the next participant in line.

Format for UDL Slam 2016

Are you intrigued? Excited to share your ideas and hear creative solutions from around the College? Here’s what you need to know to participate.

There is no need to prepare formal presentations for a Slam – this is about rapid-fire sharing of ideas and hearing from as many participants in the space of one hour as possible.  There are lots of faculty around Camosun who are using UDL in their teaching practices and our key goal for this event is to collect as many exciting ideas as we can about UDL principles-in-action.

You will have a maximum of 5 minutes to share your UDL Slam story. Your story needs to include:

  1. Your name & the course/s you are talking about;
  2. The barrier to learning you identified in the course (and who it affected);
  3. The solution you designed to address the barrier;
  4. Your assessment of this solution (if you have already implemented and tried it out: Any lessons you learned? Adjustments you’d make?).

Bare-bones format for a UDL Slam story:

My name is ### and I teach ###. I have decided to do ### project in my course in lieu of a final exam because I found the barriers to success were ####. I hope that the results will be ###.

Slam! (On to the next participant)

We will not be taking questions in between each Slam story, but will hold 15 minutes at the end of the event for discussion.( Participants can also follow-up with each other as needed, and eLearning will include details about UDL stories in subsequent blog posts.)

For more information about how to participate, visit to our website at http://web.camosun.ca/cetl/content/universal-design-learning-udl-slam.

Top Ten Things for Faculty to Know about D2L at Camosun

We get a lot of questions from faculty members about D2L and how it works at Camosun.  So, I thought:  why not write a post that addresses what we think are the top ten!

What is D2L?

  • Desire2Learn (D2L) is Camosun College’s learning management system. D2L enables faculty who are teaching face-to-face, blended, or completely online to deliver content, manage online activities and group collaboration, as well as provide online assessment options for students.
  • Your D2L site can only be accessed by students registered in your course, eLearning staff, and other Camosun employees you request access for.
  • To get started with D2L, please request a consultation with an eLearning instructional designer. You also check out our current workshop schedule (http://web.camosun.ca/cetl/elearning-workshops) for upcoming D2L learning opportunities.

How are D2L course sites set up?

  • Your course must be flagged for D2L when the course is set up for registration in Colleague. To ensure that it has been flagged, check with the person in your area who sets up courses in Colleague for registration (often the Chair).
  • Approximately 30 days before the course start date, you will have access to your blank D2L course shell (as long as you are listed in Colleague as the instructor of the course).
  • 7 days before the course starts, you will see the names of registered students appear in your D2L course site Classlist. Students are added to and dropped from this list as they are registered in, or unenrolled from, the course through Colleague. Waitlisted and late registering students gain access to their D2L courses the day after they are registered.
  • On the start date of the course (as it appears in Colleague), students will have access to the D2L course sites they are registered in. Students will then have access to the D2L course site for 20 days after the end date of the course (as it appears in Colleague).
  • You, as the instructor of the course, will have indefinite access to your D2L course sites unless you arrange with DESupport to have them removed from D2L. This process requires an email from you to DESupport (Desupport@camosun.ca) clarifying which courses you wish to have removed.

If I teach multiple sections in a term but only want one D2L course site for all my students, what do I need to do?

  • BEFORE your students are added to your D2L course site (which happens 7 days before the start date of your course), contact DESupport and let them know which sections need to be merged into one course site.

What is a DEV course site, and how do I request one?

  • A D2L DEV (development) course site is a static course site that students cannot access. It is a place where you can build and revise your course site before your live course shells become available to you.
  • A DEV site must be associated with a course you are teaching (for example, if you teach Math 100, you can request a Math 100 DEV site).
  • To request a DEV site for one of your courses, email DESupport. To learn more about DEV sites and how they can be used, talk to an eLearning instructional designer.

How do I get access to someone else’s course site?

  • You will need to ask that person to contact DESupport and request/give permission for you to be added to their course site.

Where do I go to get help with D2L?

  • You can ask for help from DE Support (desupport@camosun.ca) or book a consult with an eLearning instructional designer.
  • You can come to an eLearning drop-in session or workshop (http://web.camosun.ca/cetl/elearning-workshops).
  • You can also access our D2L On-Demand Training site. It will see it in your My Courses Widget (when you click on Student) in D2L. If you don’t see it in your course listing, contact DESupport to give you access.

How do I log into D2L?

  • Go to online.camosun.ca and enter your C# and password. You can bookmark this URL to return easily to the Camosun D2L site.

How do I find my courses in D2L?

  • Once you have logged into D2L, you can find a list of all the courses you are registered in by looking at the Select a course… drop-down menu, or the My Courses widget on the main Camosun D2L page.
  • If you have access to fewer than 40 courses, they will all show in your My Courses widget, but if you have more you will only see your 10 most recently accessed courses, and may need to search to find new courses as they are added to your site.
  • You can use the pin icon in the Select a course… drop-down menu to “pin” courses to the top of the list (so that, for example, the course(s) you are teaching right now always appears at the top of the list). You can access instructions for this in the On-Demand Training course site, or by contacting DESupport.

How do I copy course material from one course to another?

  • Use the Import/Export/Copy Components tool in your D2L course site (under Edit Course). You can access instructions for this in the On-Demand Training course site, or by contacting DESupport.

How do I customize my course homepage and navigation bar?

  • Use the NavBars and Course Home tools in your D2L course site (under Edit Course). You can access instructions for customizing NavBars and Homepages in the On-Demand Training course site, or by contacting DESupport.

D2L Monthly Upgrades – What’s new in August

Welcome to our monthly Camosun D2L Upgrade Report.

Quizzes – Quiz attempts override for individual students

Now you can set up Special Access in a Quiz to allow individual students (or specified groups of students) to have a different number of quiz attempts.  To do this:

  1. In the Restrictions Tab, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add Users to Special Access.
  2. Select Override attempts allowed, then select the number of attempt you with the selected student(s) to have, and click Apply.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the student(s) you with to have this special access.  Click Add Special Access.
  4. Click Save and Close.

You have now given permission for a selected student or group of students to have a different number of attempts on a quiz from the rest of the class.

Intelligent Agents – Tool Improvements

In addition, there have been improvements made to the Intelligent Agents tool which you can read more about at https://community.brightspace.com/resources/documentation/release_notes/current in the August 2016 Release section.

If you have questions about Intelligent Agents, or would like to learn more about what they are and how they can support the learning experience for your students, contact desupport@camosun.ca and ask for a consult with one of our instructional designers!


eLearning Fall Workshops Open for Registration

Don’t forget to register now for eLearning Fall 2016 Workshops. 

The eLearning Workshop Series is designed to assist faculty (beginner to advanced) with incorporating educational technologies into their teaching, as well as with blended and online course/program planning and development.  Make sure to register for the session(s) you would like to attend so that we can notify you if there is a room change or cancellation.

This fall we have an exciting array of new workshops covering everything from D2L, WordPress, multimedia design and integration, and social media, which will include considerations around issues of accessibility, copyright, and inclusion of library resources in your D2L courses.

Visit our website at http://web.camosun.ca/cetl/elearning-workshops to find out more!